What a Bible for Bible lovers! If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for your pastor, Bible teacher, biblical writer, or a Bible student who already has a study Bible or readers’ edition, the Chronological Life Application Study Bible in the New Living Translation (NLT) from Tyndale House Publishers makes an excellent choice. Having another Bible first matters only because the books in this edition have been arranged chronologically, rather than by traditional groupings, so if you want to look up a passage quickly, say, during a discussion in your study group, you’d need to know the book of Job most likely occurred before the time of Moses in order to find its placement. The easier way, though, is to look up the scripture you want in the “Canonical Table of Contents” in the opening pages, where you might find Haggai and Zechariah interacting with the book of Ezra and the Gospel stories intermingled.
Despite the confusion some have when flipping pages can't be done efficiently, the chronological arrangement clearly shows how books in the same time period relate to one another. For example, after fleeing from King Saul (I Samuel 22), David wrote Psalm 57, which places those passages together in this edition.
As portions of scripture weave together in time, the introductions and overviews of each book needed to be gathered in one section entitled “The Bible, Book-by-Book.” Also, in the back pages, you’ll find a “Master Index,” concordance, and maps, along with other features you might expect in any good study edition.
Throughout this edition, you’ll find the type of footnotes and “Personality Profiles” that made the Life Application Study Bible a popular choice, but the unique features of the Chronological Life Application Study Bible come as a clock or calendar.
For example, the article “A Chronological Study of the Bible” in the opening pages provides a brief but helpful overview of biblical history from creation to the first century church. However, the feature I especially love is the “Complete Biblical Timeline” that lets me know the Egyptians built the pyramids not very long after the flood, which makes me wonder if the design occurred as an attempt to get above water level!
Also, in Egypt, papyrus and ink were invented for writing and horses domesticated long before the birth of Abraham. About the time his grandsons, Jacob and Esau, were born, Stonehenge appeared in England, and within a couple years of the birth of Jacob’s son, Joseph, someone invented the wheel.
In Babylon, Hammurabi wrote his code of law around 300 years before the laws came through Moses. About 50 years after Moses’ death, King Tut entered his famous tomb, and, about ten years before a whale swallowed Jonah, Homer wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey. Such interesting information continues for several pages, and then a brief timeline tops each page of scripture, keeping us connected to the world context in which the Bible lives on and on as the living Word of God.
©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved.
Chronological Life Application Study Bible, hardback
Chronological Life Application Study Bible, Kindle, e-book